God Is In The Business of Ministry


By Barry Parker, Rector

Posted on October 22, 2014

Last Sunday afternoon, members of St. Paul’s filled Cody Hall to participate in our Annual General Meeting – called a Vestry meeting. What transpired was more than mere business or a discussion of finances. The meeting wove five themes into a strong cord of life and ministry we share together at St. Paul’s Bloor Street.

Legacy. We considered the health and vitality of the church from a resource perspective – space, time and money. We were reminded our meeting was the 172nd consecutive gathering that built upon those who have gone before and given so much. It is more than buildings or history. Our legacy is ministry that is faithful, dynamic and seeks to meet the needs of all we encounter. That heritage continues unabated.

Reality. A danger in the Church is to over-spiritualize things and miss the reality of what is actually unfolding. We engaged in a reality check that involved not only ‘crunching the numbers’ of past ministry, but committing to move forward in dealing decisively with our remaining debt. This was not a despondent, desperate act. Rather there was and is a deep sense that now is the time.

Vision. We believe God is drawing us into the clarity of a vision which builds on both our legacy and our reality. When our debt is discharged, we will build an intentional, effective and flexible ministry leadership formation and exploration process. We know there is a leadership gap for those wanting to investigate and be mentored in their discernment and practice of ministry. We believe St. Paul’s has the capacity, the calling and the depth to effect such a process that will bless not only St. Paul’s but the wider church as well.

Challenge. St. Paul’s did not get where it is today without faithful members stepping up and stepping into the gap to meet the needs of a great God-given vision. It is a challenge first met by faith and prayer. Then the undertaking will be to offer to God, through St. Paul’s, our gifts of time, money, energy and leadership. It is a challenge that has been continuously given and received throughout our history.

Thanksgiving. Finally, the meeting was bathed in thanksgiving. We gave thanks to God who has blessed us with a church for the sole purpose of blessing others. We gave thanks for the diverse, dynamic and engaging ministries that so many undertake in so many ways. Deo Gratias was the theme of the day!

I used to think business meetings were mundane and somewhat boring necessities. However, once again, last Sunday’s ‘business’ meeting highlighted the fact that God has been in the business of ministry through ordinary people like us for the past 172 years and God-willing for many, many years to come.

New Trustees

Join us in welcoming our new Trustees, Molly Finlay and Samuel Ah-Kim.

Molly and her husband Sam joined St. Paul’s in 2007 before the birth of their second daughter. Molly is a lay reader, co-hosts a Small Group and is working as part of a committee to welcome newcomers into community life at St. Paul’s. She is an associate of the Society of St. John the Divine, the Anglican Convent in Toronto, and volunteers with street-involved women at All Saints Church-Community Centre. Molly has had a long career in TV journalism, and has served in senior advisory and leadership positions for the Premier of Ontario and World Vision Canada. Most recently, Molly started her Masters of Divinity degree at Wycliffe College. She also holds a Masters of Arts in English Language and Literature from King’s College, University of London.

 

 

In June 2010, Samuel and his wife Shirley, along with their two daughters Sandrine and Selena, landed in Toronto. Shortly after, they visited St Paul’s and were deeply moved by the warm welcome they received. They became actively involved and joined the greeters’ team at the 11 a.m. service and the tea and coffee ministry. Samuel was born and raised in Mauritius. He pursued his post-secondary education in France and earned a Maîtrise en Sciences de Gestion (BSc. Business Management) and a degree in Sales and Marketing of IT products and services. He is also a graduate of the Rotman School of Management Executive Program. Samuel has extensive management and leadership experiences. He has served as Churchwarden and has been responsible for several projects of the Diocese of his former country. He is now working at HP as Inside Account Manager for Corporate, Enterprise and Public Sector markets in Quebec.

A complete listing of our Trustees can be found here.